Giffords gives solar demo at U of A

Arizona Daily Wildcat:

Just as a magnifying glass can harness the sun to burn a hole through a piece of paper, UA scientists have discovered a way to burn through something a little thicker: steel.

U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords and members of the university, including UA President Robert Shelton, gathered Wednesday on the south side of Bear Down Gymnasium to witness what could represent a major step in the production of low-cost alternative energy production.

The demonstration was held in an empty swimming pool that housed a satellite dish fitted with a 10-foot diameter mirror. The mirror was used to concentrate the sunlight on a specific area, in this case a quarter-inch piece of steel.

UA President Robert Shelton, who spoke with Giffords while touring the project, commented on the universitys leading work in alternative energies.

(The UA) has been on the forefront of promoting competitive technology that will lead to practical solar energy, Shelton said. He said it was important that Giffords attended the demonstration because it shows she recognizes that Arizona can out-compete everyone else.

Giffords agreed and said, Today were melting steel, but in a couple months well be producing energy.

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